Adjunct tells stuttering student not to speak

Philip Garber Jr. isn’t afraid to speak up, despite his stutter. When the 16-year-old was told not to ask or answer questions in his history class at County College of Morris — the adjunct said he was wasting other students’ time — Garber complained to the dean, who switched him to another instructor. The New York Times ran a front-page story, the college is investigating and the adjunct isn’t likely to be rehired.

After the first couple of class sessions, in which he participated actively, the professor, an adjunct named Elizabeth Snyder, sent him an e-mail asking that he pose questions before or after class, “so we do not infringe on other students’ time.”

As for questions she asks in class, Ms. Snyder suggested, “I believe it would be better for everyone if you kept a sheet of paper on your desk and wrote down the answers.”

Later, he said, she told him, “Your speaking is disruptive.”

After 30 years as a middle-school social studies teacher, Snyder began teaching history at the community college 10 years ago.

Garber is taking history and composition at the local community college, while finishing his home-schooling curriculum.  He travels into Manhattan once a week to “work on acting and playwriting with Our Time Theater Company, a group for people who stutter,” reports the Times. He hopes to be a photojournalist.

Don’t FEAR Your Stutter, be PROUD, You’re Still Standing! says Garber on his YouTube channel, TheStutteringMan.

Update: Snyder says she told Garber she’d call on him once per class.

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